Summer congestion shows need for wider I-65 says lawmaker

By , WIAT.com

Published:  Updated: 

 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Anyone who frequently travels I-65 in Shelby County could tell you traffic congestion has been brutal at times throughout the summer when commuters and vacationers clogged the road.

State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) says the summer congestion is the worst he’s ever seen. The rest of the year rush hour traffic remains a major headache for commuters.

Ward says a long overdue projects to widen I-65 to 3 lanes between the Pelham exit at Co Rd 52 and the Alabaster exit at US 31 should finally begin next year, but he says he’ll keep the pressure up until it’s finished.

“Sometime next summer originally it was the spring, but you know I’ll I’ll be glad if we could just get started next summer. I understand how long these things take, but the area’s been mapped out, they have the right-of-way determined, they’ve done everything they need to do it’s just time to start the construction,” said Ward.

“As someone who’s been up and down that road a lot this past summer yes the beach traffic has been worse I think than it’s ever been… that I’ve ever seen it. The congestion has just been absolutely awful. That traffic this summer shows clearly why you’ve got to widen that road. At least down to the Shelby County Airport exit. I understand your gas tax revenue is declining, which means there are fewer  road projects in the state, but at the same time I-65’s been  on the books for a long, long time to be widened. So I think we as elected officials in that area have to hold their feet to the fire in that area and say we expect it and it’s definitely needed from the traffic counts.”

To see the full article and video on WIAT.com, please click the following link: http://wiat.com/2016/07/28/summer-congestion-shows-need-for-wider-i-65-says-lawmaker/

Senator Cam WardSenator Cam Ward    Senator Slade Blackwell    Senator J. T. "JABO" WaggonerSenator J. T. "JABO" Waggoner

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Director's Update

Fall 2017- In the District

By Mimi Penhale, Legislative Director

Since the 2017 Legislative Session ended back in May, our Delegation has been out and about supporting community events and schools. Shelby County cities and organizations have been busy over the past few months with farmers markets, festivals, and events to raise money for Shelby county groups. Some of the events that our Delegation members have attended and are planning to attend include: the annual CASA Roast, tours of local farms with Alabama’s Farmers’ Federation, visiting the Alabama Wildlife Center at Oak Mountain State Park, Montevallo’s Bicentennial Celebration, and the Ground Breaking of the Helena Earth Kind Rose Trials. The Delegation members are also participating in many events around the county on their own, so keep an eye out for them in your area or at your local schools.  

The fall is always a great time for the Legislators to visit schools in their district. Legislators in Alabama are given access to grant money to provide community service projects in their districts. Grants are requested by local schools, libraries, and organizations that work with our public schools. The amount of money that Legislators can access each year is limited and varies depending on revenue brought in by the state.

The grants given by our Delegation members this fall have covered a variety of needs. Some of the grants impacted students and teachers in the classroom, like technology updates and funding for educational programming. Grants outside the classroom will help cover structural updates for school facilities. Some of the organizations awarded grant money for this fall provided students access to programs and community service opportunities that they might not otherwise be able to participate in. The final grants awarded each year are a joint contribution from the Delegation to the overall winners of the Shelby County Schools’ Teacher of the Year recipients. Three teachers, who are named the overall age group winners by the Shelby County Education Foundation, are awarded grant money that can be used by the winners for classroom supplies, technology, or programs.

Providing grants for projects like these and supporting events in the district is a highlight for our Delegation each year. These are a few small ways that we can give back to the communities we serve and love. 

Shelby County Legislative Delegation (C) 2013